I just took a No New Clothes pledge, that is, I won’t be buying new clothing for 90 days. 

The No New Clothes pledge is a campaign promoted by Remake, a nonprofit organization working to disrupt the fast fashion industry and advocate for better conditions and pay for garment workers. As you know, this is up Second Serve’s alley. The thought behind this pledge is to encourage reflection on your clothing, your needs, and how you make decisions about your purchases. 

This is an easy one for me as I don’t generally buy new stuff anyway.

It would be great if a Dry January were as easy. This year I abstained for two weeks before an eggplant parmesan demanded a glass of red wine. There was nothing I could do.

Before caving I did try out a bunch of faux mocktail drinks and potions that were supposed to mimic alcohol. They were repulsive, with one exception: Athletic Brewing Company’s IPA “Run Wild” is indistinguishable from the real thing. I don’t know how they do it. I still drink it, Dry January or not. But overall the taste of the alcohol-free spirits was gross, and they were expensive to boot.

You will not have the same problem with substitutes when you make your No New Clothes pledge: unlike the alcohol-free spirits, the alternatives to buying new clothing are better, and often cheaper. 


Start shopping resale for cool finds at lower prices. Our longtime donor, Gale, just told me of finding a special event dress on Poshmark, for a third of the price of a new one at Saks. When you have a specific item in mind, always check resale first. Start with the Gem app, and your search will instantly take you across multiple resale platforms. 

Even if you are not looking for a specific piece of clothing, peruse resale sites to find the cool thing that no one else has. Start that search at Second Serve, and get the most bang for your buck. A whopping 85% to nonprofits!

Check out some unique items that we are carrying now: Cos overalls, a handmade vintage prairie dress, or a custom made reversible vest. Pick out something!


In addition to resale, you can shop upcycle sites. Upcycling is when a new garment is made from old ones, or materials already in existence (recycled in some way, or repurposed). 

I know resale sites more than I know upcycle sites, but I found a handy list of upcycle sites compiled by Conscious Life & Style to investigate- Fanfare Label, 4KINSHIP, RE/DONE, Hôtel Vetements to name a few. Check out all twenty on their site! One of my favorites is Picnicwear, as they do a lot with terry cloth and chenille. Their towel hats, omg.

No New Clothes

So try the pledge, and see how you feel. I promise you won’t feel deprived. And I feel confident in saying you are going to feel better. Better because you have a few one-of-a-kind items, better because you are buying what is already in circulation, better because the environment is spared and your carbon footprint is smaller. 

Resale and upcycle may turn into your regular habit, and no longer a substitute for buying new.

If only Dry January were so easy.

1 comment

  • William Kling

    While I suspect this pledge is aimed at fashionistas/os, I don’t think I need to sign up. I don’t buy 16 items of new clothes A YEAR, excluding underwear and socks. Which must be bought new by law. I expect a pair of socks is one item? A good pledge for others though.

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